RAF problems

I am currently working at an RAF station, and have been for the last three months. I initially came to my new post with my eyes open, even though I had heard horror stories of how the Army personnel were treated. But over this short time in post I am shocked to discover the blatant disregard for the Army Lads and Lasses. The majority of the times they are treated like second class citizens when their counter parts in the RAF treated like gods.

Now before you all rip into me and say ‘Do something about it’ I have, but what a pointless act that was. I brought up all the issues and mismanagements happening in the department and in response I got the following. ‘Whilst in an RAF managed team we will manage as the RAF.’

Now this is all well and good but when promotional courses are being ignored because they are irrelevant to the RAF something is going wrong. Also issues have occurred with Report writing, AGAI 67 and even RAF to Army rank translation. For some reason they think a LCpl not an NCO but the equivalent to a SAC, and a flight Sgt is not equivalent to a SSgt, instead they are equivalent to a WO2? Madness! One WO did not even know that a WO2 gets a Warrant! I mean the clue is in the name!!!!

Has anyone else had problems with the RAF before?


War Hero
I've had a number of issues with the'Junior Service'. The main sticking point rank wise is the fact that FS have a an inferiority complex or delusions of grandeur due to the fact they don't have WO2's. If you have one of these individuals just ask him to prove his equivelance by producing his warrant - no warrant =not a WO then! On the LCpl/SAC/LAC side of life LCpl is OR3 whereas SAC/ LAC are OR1 so again there is no equivelance there either.

AGAI does not apply to the RAF as it is an Army instruction

The RAF should be managing as per their own rules as is right. Would you expect the Army to lower it's standards because RAF were attached?

Tongue removed from cheek, helmet on, stand by
Good points. My issue with the AGAI system is the following. The RAF has decided not to use it with the Army lads and lasses. Rather they charge (252) instead. I assume this is only in my location! Since being in location I have seen two army lads getting charged for very small matters, where in an Army unit they would have been AGAI’ed. However the RAF have a system called 1027 (I think that’s its designation) which is basically a very weak and huggable version of the AGAI, they call it Counselling (Even the name sounds gay) that they use on their lads. So why no the AGAI on ours?

Now I do not really care what the RAF use or don’t use, my problem is why disadvantage a soldier by charging him, when in an Army unit a soldier committing the same offence is being AGAI’ed. Again when I brought this to light I was told to shut up ‘We don’t care’

Great Tri Service partnership and Man Management Skills!

‘Whoosh’ Says the RAF
I have problems with the RAF, and I'm in it!

The FS/WO2 problem repeatedly rears its head because a FS will invariably have been in HM's service for longer than a WO2, because we have longer careers. In my experience a good FS should not need to point this out, it should be evident in the way he conducts himself. LCpls are a bigger problem, because we have a very large number of SACs who have been around for 8 years or more, through no fault of their own, and are probably more capable than your average Lance Jack, but we have no way of recognising it formally. In my experience each RAF section has a chap informally recognised as 'senior SAC' sitting half way between the SACs and the Cpls. Your LCpls may have to tread carefully to avoid patronising anyone, but there is no excuse for rank descrimination in joint environments, if you're good enough to achieve the rank, then you should get the recognition.

As for admin support, my first tour was on a RAF unit with a strong army presence and we had three AGC personnel in Stn HQ responsible for the admin/discipline of our green brethren. If you have specific evidence that army personnel are being disadvantaged because of their crab-centric environment and the chain of command are unresponsive, then I would seek the advice of the most senior army officer you can find (on or off the unit) and consider redressing your CoC.
Been a long while since I left the RAF ( 18 years to be exact ! ) but there is a Rank in the RAF that’s between SAC and Corporal, that of Junior Technician. However, from memory, it’s only given to technical trades so probably isn’t relevant in this discussion !

However, when I got that rank we were always told to consider ourselves “sort of like a lance corporal” but a lite version without most of the powers of a lance jack. In truth, once you were posted to a Sqn, what mattered most was who had the most experience. Only a brave JT would arrive straight from training and try to boss around SAC’s with many years experience...

It’s a strange problem to see arising though. You’d have thought that someone, somewhere has a manual on “Personnel aspects of Joint Operations and Postings”.

Truly though, in the RAF, a Flight Sergeant was ( and probably still is ) a God like figure. In non technical trades there was nothing else between Sergeant and Warrant Officer. That gap could take many years to climb if at all so it’s not surprising to me that the Flight Sergeants see themselves as WO2’s... ( Accepting that the warrant issue is a key point... ).

Tech trades in particular back then saw the rank structure as very loose up to the Flight Sergeant level. I remember on my first posting spending an awkward few weeks calling my boss Sergeant, only to be taken to one side and told “the names Dave. I’m only Sergeant when there are Officers present..."

Best of luck sorting this one out though. Bad man management is still bad man management regardless of what excuses are used.

Sammers - the rank of JT is still around and is equal of that to a private!!!

The tri-service badgeRatings and Other Ranks of the Flag of the United Kingdom British Armed Forces

OR-1 OR-2 OR-3 OR-4 OR-5/OR-6 OR-7 OR-8 OR-9
RM: MNE LCpl Cpl Sgt CSgt WO2 WO1
Army: Pte LCpl Cpl Sgt SSgt / CSgt WO2 WO1
RAF: AC-Jnr Tech Cpl Sgt Chf Tech - FS WO / MAcr


Right at the bottom
Well, if it's just a question of equivalency, check out QRs; para J2.042 to be exact so it's a joint regulation. Says that WO2 has no equivalent rank in either the Senior or the Junior service.

Digs in and waits for incoming.......
JT is a technical qualification (now replaced by SAC Tech :roll: ), SAC Tech's have a technical supervisory role, but no official powers of command over SACs. The title is an appreciation of trade qualification rather than authority.

IMHO the RAF could do with a LCpl rank to bridge the gap between the senior SAC and the Cpl.

sammers68 said:
Bad man management is still bad man management regardless of what excuses are used.
My thoughts exactly.
The senior service now has WO2, it replaced the old Charge Chief rank where some departments had a gaggle of CPO's and one was the top dog
sammers68 said:
Only a brave JT would arrive straight from training and try to boss around SAC’s with many years experience...

tis true, there was once a young JT who nearly had his toe removed by a disgruntled SAC wielding a GS shovel
Well, if it's just a question of equivalency, check out QRs; para J2.042 to be exact so it's a joint regulation. Says that WO2 has no equivalent rank in either the Senior or the Junior service.

Digs in and waits for incoming.......
We had it in the Mess of a tri-service unit in Cyprus. FSgts were shimfing about WO2's being higher up the table at dinners. The RSM stood up at Mess meeting and said "I totally agree (shocked gasps). All RAF Flight Sergeants and Army WO2's are to parade at 0800 outside my office carrying their Warrants, duely signed by the Secretary of State-next item"

Smiles/frowns all round
The RAF is now the only service that don't have WO2's. The Royal Navy have them as well now.I'd get my hands on a few of those posters that show "The badges of rank of the three Branches of HM Forces" that I still see dotted about.Put them up all over the place, so no-one is in any doubt that not only are they the junior service, so even at mess functions a soldier of EQUAL rank should sit higher up than they do, but our rank system is what theirs stemmed from. :wink:
If any of them start getting bitchy in the mess just remind them that the RAF dosen't have traditions, it has habits...(pause for effect)... and most of them are bad.
Spent two and a half years living on a RAF patch when I was a Recruiting sergeant and had no problems at all with them when I went in for Admin things. Clothing exchanges etc was a pleasant experience for a change. Never saw any problem about the rank thing but I didnt have to work day in day out with them like you do.
Hopefully if your working with them they will let you do the same physical tests as they do, they needed something like level 7 on the bleep test and 9 press ups..... saw a lot struggle though :wink:

On the whole a good bunch and very helpful.
Thanks for all your input. Dont get me wrong the RAF lads are a good bunch but they just need telling sometimes. Well most of the time, they do have some good system. Some Systems. Just like the one i discovered today. We went on the ranges and after spending hours waiting to be cleared off the range because some RAF lads and lasses found it hard to hit the target (Only had to fire 10 reounds) we did not have to clean wour weapons. The RAF lads did it. Winner!!!!!!! But thats about it
Here's the ARRSE hypothetical acid test regarding the FS/WO2 question:

If that cnut, Chief_Two was a FS; would he expect someone to salute him? :D

I'll get my coat.
It is a shame you're finding things so tough over 'with us'. Most all Army guys I've met & worked with love being with the RAF - RE Cpls saying they were 'treated like proper Cpls' when with the RAF etc. The accommodation and less bull also seemed to go down well with other Army fellas. I don't know how long you have been in, but the recurring issue from RAF troops is the lack of equality between the Forces. I don't have an answer if we have such different career profiles - but you have a part in helping too.
We had a Crab FS in our Mess (along with a few other Crabs and Navy) and every month the RSM had a meeting with all the WOs in station to talk about a few Mess points and also other things. On a Mess meeting one night he stood up and complained that he should be able to attend these meetings as he was equivalent to a Warrant Officer. The room goes silent as the RSM replies "Warrant Officers hold the Royal Warrant, you do not! Even my young soldiers could tell you that! So no you can't come to the Warrant Officer meetings, sit down and come and see me when you do have a Royal Warrant". This was followed by lots of sniggers, comments of dikchead, what a knobber etc. The said FS left a few weeks later to join a Mess up the road with his native Crabs even though he still worked in our camp.

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